Thursday, April 24, 2014

Current Obsession: Petit Point Jewelry

My favorite time of the year in Florida is festival season, which happens roughly from late February to May.

There are some great events in the Tampa area that highlight music, agriculture and certain time periods. The Florida Strawberry Festival is one of my favorites--though not necessarily because I love strawberries.

The best thing for me is visiting with an 84-year-old vendor named Joke Vandergroef. Joke is from the Netherlands and spends part of the year in Florida. She's a talented petit point artist and brings her handmade treasures to the festival each year.

Her booth is the first place I stop. Every year I admire her beautiful creations and take a few home, and every year Joke tells me I shouldn't expect her at the next festival.

This year though, she seemed to say it with more conviction. She's getting older. It's more difficult for her to get around. She's so tired by the end of the day. No one cares about the type of work she does anymore.

I can't speak to her first three points, but I can argue with the last one. There is someone who cares. There's someone who adores her work. There's someone who enjoys talking with her, even if it's just once a year.

Maybe it's because she's the perfect combination of my grandmother and my great aunt. Maybe it's because her talent is enormous. Maybe it's because I think her petit point rings, necklaces and earrings make up some of the most unique jewelry I own.

Whatever it is, she's the highlight of the Strawberry Festival, in my opinion.

And I hope I see her again next year.

Here's Joke at work at the festival.

And here are all the pieces I've bought from her over the years.

Outfit Details:
Petit Point Jewelry by Joke Vandergroef (similar creations via Etsy)
Target Dress (old, similar)
"Voyage around the world" by Budi Satria Kwan via Society6
Target Shoes (old, similar)

Outfit photos by my sweet fiance, Matt; all others by yours truly


  1. Wow! I wish I would have known about her sooner. I haven't gone to the strawberry festival in at least five years, and had I known about her and her work, I would have gone to check it out. She has so much talent! And I am in love with those earrings.

    1. I'm really hoping she's back next year. If I go and she is there, I'll let you know.

  2. your fiancé's got a knack for photos! (:
    love the necklaces. I've been antique shopping more and more lately, and just recently found a similar piece. These are beautiful, though.

    Can't wait to read more of your blog!!

    -xx- Alynne (ps: check out my giveaway!)

    1. Thanks so much Alynne, and sorry you got into my blog right when I dropped off the blogosphere. I'm back now, so I hope you'll check back every so often. :)

  3. Love these! I want that framed pic of the bird :) They have such a vintage feel to them.

    Daydream Frenzy

    1. The bird is hanging above my jewelry cabinet. It greets me every morning as I'm getting ready for the day. :) Thanks for reading and commenting!

  4. Wow I have not seen jewellery like this before. It is so beautiful and special. Now I really want some, so impressed.

    1. It's so unique, and it's especially appealing to me because it's handmade and difficult to do. I've seen similar pieces on Etsy, so you might have some luck if you look there. Thanks for reading!